In a Hurry?? Go to the Summit!


Hey there, Silver Streak here.  I am just a moving on down this dusty road at a high rate of food consumption.  That is right, I said “Food consumption.”  I have to constantly keep feeding this pair of mules, just to keep my wagon on schedule.  So what I have to talk to you about will make sense.  Max Lucado, in his book writes about always being in a hurry.  He says a man in Florida bills his ophthalmologist ninety dollars for keeping him waiting one hours.  A woman in California hires someone to do her shopping for her—-out of a catalog.  Twenty bucks will pay someone to pick up your cleaning.  Fifteen hundred bucks will buy a fax machine. . . for your car.  You can even get greeting cards to express to  your children things you want to say, but don’t have to time to: “Have a great day at school” or “I wish I were there to tuck you in.”  America—the country of shortcuts and fast lanes. (We’re the only nation of earth with a mountain called “Rushmore.”

We were told in 1965 that the future looked bright for free time in America.  By 1985, says the report, Americans would be working twenty-two hours a week and would be able to retire at age thirty-eight.  Boy, they sure got that one wrong.  But they said the reason would be because of computers.  As the individualism of the sixties led to the materialism of the eighties, the free time gained for us by technology didn’t make us relax; it made us run.  Gadgets provided more time….more time meant more potential money…more potential money meant more time needed …and round and round it went.  Lives grew louder as demands became greater.  And as demands became greater, lives grew empties.  One young  father complained, “I’ve got so many irons in the fire, I can’t keep any of them hot.”  As a youngster, I took piano lessons.  I learned all the signs and what they meant except one…the zigzag.  It meant to do nothing.  Why sit at a piano and pause when you can pound?  “Because,” my teacher patiently explained, “music is always sweeter after a rest.”  It didn’t make sense to me at age ten.  But now, a few decades later, the words ring with wisdom—-divine wisdom.  In fact,  the words of my teacher remind me of the convictions of another Teacher.  “When  he saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside….”   

Don’t read the sentence so fast you miss the surprise.  Matthew didn’t write what you would expect him to.  The verse doesn’t read, “When he saw the crowds, he went into their midst.” Or “When he saw the crowds, he healed their hurts.” O “When he saw the crowds, he seated them and began to teach them.”  On other occasions he did that ….but not this time.

Before he went to the masses, he went to the mountain.  Before the disciples encountered the crowds, they encountered the Christ.  And before they faced the people, they were reminded of the sacred.

After the kids are in bed and the wife, too, I go into my computer room to write.  That is where I am now.  I sit in the stillness accompanied by the tap of a computer keyboard, and the aroma of coffee.  They quietness will slow my pulse, the silence will open my ears, and something sacred will happen.  The soft slap of sandaled feet will break the stillness, a pierced hand will extend a quiet invitation and I will follow.  I wish I could say it happens every night; it doesn’t.  Some nights He asks and I don’t listen.  Other times he asks and I just don’t go.  But on some nights I hear his poetic whisper, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened…” and I follow.  I leave behind the budgets, bills and deadlines and walk the narrow trail up the mountain with him.

You have been there.  You’ve escaped the sandy foundations of the valley and ascended his grand outcropping of granite.  You’ve turned your back on the nose and sought his voice.  You’ve stepped away from the masses and followed the Master as he led you up the winding path to the summit.  His summit, Clean air, Clean view, Crisp breeze.

Gently your guide invites you to sit on the rock above the tree line and look out with him at the ancient peaks that will never erode. “What is necessary is still what is sure,” he confides.  “just remember:

“You’ll go nowhere tomorrow that I haven’t already been.

“Truth will still triumph.

“Death will still die.

“The victory is yours.

“And delight is one decision away — seize it.”

The sacred summit.  A place of permanence in a world of transition.

I read recently about a man who had breathed the summit air.  His trips up the trail began early in his life and sustained him to the end.  A few days before he died, a priest went to visit him in the hospital.  As the priest entered the room, he noticed an empty chair beside the man’s bed.  The priest asked him if someone had been by to visit.  The old man smiled, “I place Jesus on that chair, and I talk to him.”

The priest was puzzled, so the main explained.  “Years ago a friend told me that prayer was as simple as talking to a good friend.  So every day I pull up a chair, invite Jesus to sit and we have a good talk.”

Some days later, the daughter of this man came to the parish house to inform the priest that her father had just dies.  “Because he seemed so content,” she said, “I left him in his room alone for a couple of hours.  When I got back to the room, I found him dead.  I noticed a strange thing, though;  his head was resting, not on the pillow, but on an empty chair that was beside his bed.”

Learn a lesson from the man with the chair.  Make note of the music teacher and the rest.  Take a trip with the King to the mountain peak.  It’s pristine, uncrowded, and on top of the world.  Stubborn joy begins by breathing deep up there before you go crazy down here.   Oops, I think I hear someone calling  your flight……

Max has a unique way with words and story telling.  I always enjoy what he has to say.  He is right about the Summit.  Have you been there?  would you go if the Master called or would you just stay down here.  Myself, I go as often as He calls me.  I have just come back down tonight  before I wrote this article.  It is such a nice time that I never want to leave His side, to come back into this world of craziness. 

Brothers and sisters, take time to listen and when He calls you (and He will), don’t hesitate to slide your hand in His nail scarred hand and let Him guide you up the trail to the Summit.  Sit with Him and learn, then come back down here and spread that knowledge around to those who don’t know Him.  DeColores

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